Baby essentials (0-5 months)

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Keeping things organized has always been important to me but pregnancy intensified my urge to systemize every room in the house, from the pantry to the nursery. I was also unable to resist the urge to clean and put away all of the basic baby things I'd accumulated weeks before my due date. The closer to the end of pregnancy, the greater the urge to nest! 

Sorting through all of the baby gear on the market can be overwhelming. If you're looking to save money, accept hand-me-downs or borrow from friends and family. (You may want to buy car seats and other things with safety-related mechanisms brand new.) If you plan to have more than one child, or intend to resell certain items you've purchased after you're finished with them, consider buying unisex. 

A girlfriend pregnant with her first baby recently asked what basics she needed to buy, so we created the list below. The number represents the minimum recommended amount of each item. Download a pdf copy of this list here.

Our list of baby essentials for 6 months and beyond can be found here.

Baby basics

  • Government certified car seat  
     
  • Stroller complete with all the attachments you need (i.e., attachment for car seat, extra seat or skateboard for other, older children, etc.) 
     
  • Diaper bag (check out our fave diaper bag brand and diaper bag packing checklist)

Nice-to-have basics

  • Seat protector to protect seat cushions  
     
  • Car seat case – helpful for travelling and helps prevent damaging to car seat when placed with checked luggage
     
  • Head hugger to keep newborn baby's head in place while in car seat
     
  • Baby carrier
     
  • Travel crib with two waterproof mattress covers and two sheets (playpens are typically heavier and less versatile but they are also generally less expensive)

Nursery furniture

  • Government certified crib with mattress, two waterproof mattress covers and two bottom sheets (consider a bassinet or convertibility/extension kit option, depending on your preference)
     
  • Mobile for above crib    
     
  • Change table, pad and two covers    
     
  • Baby monitor (the camera's are super helpful for ease of checking on baby, including for sleep training purposes (read about our recommended baby monitors)
     
  • Rocking chair and baby swing are luxury items

For your baby's bottom

  • Diapers - before buying in bulk, consider trying a few brands to find what you like
    • Small pack of Newborn (up to about 10 lbs) 
    • Small pack of smallest size (usually 8-15 pounds) 
  • Wipes (wiper warmer is a luxury) 
     
  • Bum balm, preferably petroleum free (preventative, to be used with each change, particularly during first 24 hours while baby's poop is black – see this post for more about newborn bowel movements) 
     
  • Diaper rash cream, preferably petroleum free
     
  • Diaper bin with sealed cover and bags

Baby clothes (minimum amount recommended)*

  • 3-4 swaddle blankets
     
  • Sleep sacs
    • 2 sleep sacs with swaddle – for when baby transitions from swaddle to sleep sac (You may want to try one first as you may be able to put baby directly into a sleep sac without a swaddle) 
    • 2 sleep sacs without swaddle
       
  • 6 cotton onesies/sleepers, preferably with a zippers (buttons and clasps can get annoying to do up especially in the middle of the night!)
     
  • 4 cotton shirts/sweater and pant sets for putting on over top of onesies
     
  • 6 pairs of cotton socks
     
  • 2 cotton baby hats
     
  • 6 pairs of cotton scratch mittens
     
  • 1 pair of baby shoes or booties
     
  • 3 drool bibs for when bay starts to teeth
     
  • 3 Pee-Pee Teepees to cover up boys private parts while you are changing them, optional 

* Depending on the size of your baby, newborn sizes may end up being too small within a week or two, so you may want to consider buying fewer newborn sizes and more 0-3 months as cotton tends to shrink!

Seasonal items

Cooler temperatures

  • Bunting bag or snow suit
     
  • Toque, mittens and baby boots
     
  • Accessories for stroller such as waterproof weather/dust cover
     
  • Car seat cover for winter – great for avoiding having to put extra layers on baby as well as travelling 

Warmer temperatures

  • Sun hat
     
  • Accessories for stroller – sun cover and bug canopy
     
  • Sunscreen safe for babies, when old enough

Hygiene & Bath Time 

  • Baby bath tub
     
  • 8-10 baby facecloths (or baby sponge if preferred)
     
  • 2 bath towels, preferably with hood
     
  • Hair and body wash
     
  • Oil (olive, coconut or other preferred oil) and/or lotion
     
  • Baby hair brush
     
  • Baby oil and small comb (to be prepared for Cradle Cap
     
  • Baby nail clippers and file kit

Baby Toys

  • Baby swing or chair
     
  • Activity gym
     
  • Teething toy
     
  • Toy basket(s) to help keep things organized
     
  • Play mats (if your floor is hard and/or to protects rugs)
     
  • Hard baby book(s) 

Breastfeeding/Expressing        

  • Nursing cover
     
  • Breastfeeding pillow and 2 pillowcases
     
  • Breast pump and paraphenelia
    • Bottles for pump
    • Breast milk freezer bags or silicon ice cube tray (to freeze breast milk and the transfer to plastic bags in freezer)
    • Glass bottles and nipples (slow to fast flow - formula tends to be thicker than breastmilk)
    • Bottle brush
    • Bottle drying rack
    • Bottle steam sterilizer 
    • Microwave steam sterilizer bags for pump and bottles (for on the go)
    • Portable cool bottle holder case with ice packs
    • Bottle warmer (and one portable bottle warmer as well)
    • See this post for postpartum paraphernalia for Mom's who breastfeed/express milk
  • 15 bibs (and baby facecloths, which you may have for bath time, are also helpful)
     
  • 15 burping blankets
     
  • Formula (always have on hand just in case!) 

Formula Feeding        

  • Formula, obviously :)
     
  • Glass bottles and nipples (quicker flow may be necessary as formula tends to be thicker than breastmilk)
     
  • Bottle brush
     
  • Bottle drying rack
     
  • Bottle steam sterilizer
     
  • Microwave steam sterilizer bags (for on the go)
     
  • Portable cool bottle holder case with ice packs
     
  • Bottle warmer (and one portable bottle warmer as well)
     
  • 15 bibs (and baby facecloths, which you may have for bath time, are also helpful)
     
  • 15 burping blankets 

Vitamins, Medicine and Other Important Basics to have on hand**

  • Soother and clip
     
  • Teething jewellery for Mom to wear (and amber teething necklace for baby)
     
  • Vitamins
    • Liquid Vitamin D
    • Liquid Probiotic
  • Thermometer
     
  • Baby medicine (consult your doctor and/or naturopath before giving any medicine to your baby)
    • Homeopathics
      • Camilla for teething
      • Windi Gas and Colic Relief
      • Coryzalia for cold prevention
      • Oscillococcinum for flu prevention
      • Thuja Occidentalis (for offsetting some of the side effects of shots)
      • Belladonna and Ferrum Phosphoricum (for fevers)
    • Baby Tylenol
  • Baby nasal aspirator

** Consult with your baby's qualified healthcare provider about these medicinal basics.

We love to hear your great ideas. Please comment below if you have anything else on your list, or other tips for new Mom's when it comes to preparing for a new baby!

At this point your baby won't be mobile but it is always a good idea to think about how you will baby proof your home. See our tips on how to baby proof your home.